At an STC meeting earlier in the year, I heard a presentation that mentioned Naymz. It sounded like too much work to keep yet another professional profile up to date, particularly since there was a “popularity contest” or “feeding the virtual pet” aspect to the whole thing, so I passed when a couple of other folks at that meeting invited me to join that network.
More recently, it appears that there are networks popping up that will pre-populate your profile with info gleaned from the web. You then may be stuck between a rock and a hard place: join to make sure the site’s picture of you is accurate, or ignore it and hope that it will either fade away or that the AI engine behind it will pick a reasonable representation of you. If you’ve been careful about maintaining a public web presence, and if your contacts are intelligent in filtering info they find on such sites, there’s probably not much incentive to put effort into correcting/enhancing these profiles.
Two that have popped up recently:
- Zoominfo.com – I don’t even remember how I tripped over this. My profile’s relatively rich. In a search for my college roommate, I found she was quoted in USA Today earlier in the year. Who knew?
- Spock.com – there has been a fair amount of traffic about this on the ISF mailing list (see, e.g. zenofnptech). I must admit I was really surprised to get a “trust invite” from Cyber-Yenta Deborah Elizabeth Finn who barely knows me and who was quite clear about her policy of “don’t expect me to accept your LinkedIn invite unless I really can vouch for your work.” It turns out that Spock is one of those sites
that’s fairly promiscuous about using any address info you provide and sending invites to others on the site even without your permissionwill use information, including contacts’ e-mail addresses in ways you don’t expect. The community seems to be hoping it dies a quick death.If someone as smart and ‘net savvy as Deborah can be spoofed here, ordinary mortals need to beware.
But since we’ve been arguing for Open APIs and all data on the ‘net is subject to remixing, these sites, for good are ill, are here to stay.
Be careful out there…
Clarifying edits added in response to comment.